Violin or Flamenco Dancer?

It is my pleasure to introduce “Camilla Serafina” who is here to dance for you.  Can you hear the haunting flamenco music?

While we are digging out after this weekend’s blizzard, she is on her way to Florida, to dance in the New Score Chamber Orchestra’s auction fundraiser.

Many thanks to my husband for his help in completing this project!

Will She Dance?

I wrote in December that I had been given a decommissioned violin to turn into a piece of art to be auctioned off at a fund raiser for the New Score Chamber Orchestra.  As I looked at and held this instrument, the idea that resonated most with me was that of a flamenco dancer.DSCN1039

So I stripped the violin of its remaining strings, pegs, and tailpiece and purchased some black and red fabric.


My husband built a stand for the violin, both to hold it upright and to give it the illusion of having legs under the skirt.


The bow became the arms, with the frog and the tip acting as hands.


Metal plates screwed into the joints allowed me to pose the arms at the angles I wanted.  Then the plates and screws were hidden under electrical shrink tubing.


A souvenier fan from my niece’s wedding was cut down and painted to become part of her costume.  Here you can also see two of the pegs and part of the tail piece that became her face.


Amazingly, as soon as we attached the arms, she took on the persona of a dancer.

Now to dress her!

I made a petticoat to hold the ruffled skirt away from the box stand and then began making her ruffled dress.  I have made clothes for myself and my children, usually from store-bought patterns, but I don’t know of a pattern company that has a dress pattern for a violin, so I was on my own.  As I was debating gluing fabric on the front, back and sides for a bodice, my daughter mentioned that she would miss the sound holes if I covered them up.  In what was actually a simpler option, paint would became the top of the dress with a ruffle to further define the bodice and a ruffled skirt glued on below.


What Would You Do?

When a long-time friend helped start the New Score Chamber Orchestra, I was privileged to provide the cover art for their programs, a collaboration that has continued for several years now (see Summer Nights Passing and Brand New Score ).

As a fundraiser, the orchestra has purchased several violins and has asked several artists to each turn one into a piece of art to be auctioned off.  So I have this “canvas” in my studio, waiting for its alter ego to appear:


What would you do?  How would you repurpose this falling apart instrument as a piece of art?